Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1994. Warner Bros., Tig Productions, Kasdan Pictures, Eaves Movie Ranch, Paragon Entertainment Corporation. Screenplay by Dan Gordon, Lawrence Kasdan. Cinematography by Owen Roizman. Produced by Kevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Ida Random. Costume Design by Colleen Atwood. Film Editing by Carol Littleton. Academy Awards 1994.
Bloated epic on the life of the man who cleaned up Tombstone, Arizona. Kevin Costner gives a bland performance that barely carries the three hour running time as Wyatt Earp, who was driven to attempt suicide by the death of his young wife (Annabeth Gish) only to end up a lawman in Dodge City and later Tombstone. When he’s not shooting people, he spends a lot of time grunting with his brothers about other family clans and their no-good ways, later befriending the loudmouthed Doc Holliday (Dennis Quaid, who steals the whole show) and has the big, historic (and I’m sure largely fictionalized) showdown at the OK Corral. Fans of westerns won’t get much out of it as the pace is completely uneven and the running time completely ridiculous; director Lawrence Kasdan includes more characters and situations than he knows what to do with. It looks beautiful, with superb cinematography by Owen Roizman and detailed costume and set work, but the best characters (Quaid and feisty Catherine O’Hara) are given too little screen time in favour of the emotionally invisible Costner. Also features great supporting work by (underused as well), Mare Winningham, Joanna Going, Michael Madsen, Tom Sizemore, a wonderful JoBeth Williams and a unnecessarily high-billed Gene Hackman.